Today we celebrate the European and World Day against the Death Penalty. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders repeats that Belgium remains strongly committed to the universal abolition of the death penalty.
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On 21 September, we celebrate the International Day of Peace. This year's theme is "Climate Action for Peace". Right up our alley as Belgium is committed to the fight against climate change.
Today is the International Day for Peacekeepers. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders wishes to pay a special tribute to the more than 100.000 men and women, originating from 122 countries, who serve with dedication under the flag of the United Nations in the fourteen peacekeeping operations deployed around the world. Through their engagement and their courage, they embody the ideals of the United Nations.
Today is the international day to combat racism and discrimination. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders attaches great importance to this issue and calls for continued joint efforts in this fight. Unfortunately, racism and other forms of discrimination are still a reality worldwide, also within the EU and Belgium.
At the occasion of the International Women’s Day, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence Didier Reynders organized a conference on the topic: "Global approach in security: Diplomacy - Defence - Development: word to the women" at the Egmont Palace in Brussels today.
Tomorrow, it is exactly 74 years ago that the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp was liberated. That is why the 27th of January is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders' thoughts are with all victims and survivors of the genocides that have taken place in history. Such tragedies may never happen again. Continuing attention to the Holocaust and education about the Shoah have an important preventive role, according to the Minister.
Today is the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders reiterates the importance of freedom of expression and media freedom to promote and protect human rights. Allowing journalists to work freely and independently, is a fundamental cornerstone for a well-functioning and open democracy. Apart from informing the public, they also have a supervisory role to hold those in power accountable and address wrongdoings.
Le 24 octobre 1945, la Charte des Nations Unies entrait en vigueur. A l'occasion de cet anniversaire, le Vice-Premier Ministre et Ministre des Affaires Etrangères Didier Reynders rappelle l'attachement de la Belgique aux Nations Unies et au système multilatéral. La Charte est le texte fondateur de l’ONU, et reste à ce jour le socle sur lequel repose l’ensemble de l’action des Nations Unies à travers le monde.
Belgium is the second most efficient donor in the fight against extreme poverty. This is the conclusion of the respected Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in their recent report: “Financing the end of extreme poverty”. Our country ranks right behind Ireland, but ahead of Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden and Finland. The focus on least developed countries and the strengthening of aid effectiveness has been one of the priorities of the Belgian development cooperation policy over the last years.
Today is the European and World Day against the Death Penalty. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders underlines that Belgium continues to engage for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The Minister regrets that a number of countries continue to use the death penalty, even for specific forms of conduct such as blasphemy, adultery and same-sex sexual relations. The death penalty has no place in the 21st century.